A long sensual massage is one of the best gifts you can give your partner. Whether you just end up relaxing afterwards or it leads to phenomenal sex, you won’t regret learning how to give a fabulous sensual massage. 

Nearly everyone loves getting a massage – it feels wonderful and allows you to build a strong physical connection with your partner. But giving a good massage can be almost as satisfying – if not even more satisfying – than receiving one. So, if you’re the type of person who likes giving as much as they like receiving, you’ll love playing the role of a masseuse.

Sure, anyone can give a simple shoulder rub or work the knots out of their partners back, but a genuinely gratifying sensual massage takes know-how and practice. Even better, a full-body rubdown can be the ultimate foreplay, letting your partner know you’re in the mood and willing to help them get there, too.

That said, it’s important to remember that not every massage will lead to sex. If your partner feels pressured or worried about disappointing you, it can really kill the mood for everyone. In the future, your lover might turn down the offer of a sensual massage because they’re worried about the expectations attached. Think of it this way – sometimes, the act of the massage is a chance to worship their body without any strings attached.

That said, sometimes it does lead to sex – and with all of that passionate tension and build-up, it can be truly mind-blowing.

Whether your loving massage remains relatively chaste or it sets the mood for some fantastic sex, follow this guide to give the best massage of your life. With any luck, you’ll get one in return…

Set the mood by setting the temperature

Let’s start by getting the room nice and comfortable. There’s nothing worse than having to strip down naked in a space that’s too hot or too cold. It’s impossible to relax and really let go of your inhibitions when you’re shivering in a chilly room or hot and clammy in one that’s too warm.

If you want your partner to feel at their most calm, relaxed, and ready to unwind, the environment needs to be just right. After all, you want them to feel their best and take off their clothes! It’s time to adjust the temperature up or down.
The ideal temperature for a naked person at rest is 72-degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius). In the wintertime, you might want to turn the heat up slightly and drop it down lower in summer. You can do this by adjusting your home thermostat or plugging in an electric space heater. In warmer weather, run a cooling fan or air conditioning unit, but make sure that it isn’t too noisy.

Tidy up and stage the space

Life can be hectic, and housework can fall down the list of priorities. However, nothing puts a damper on relaxation more than a messy house. Your brain does a subconscious scan of a room and notices clutter and mess, making it harder to sink into the moment. For many people, the anticipation of having to clean the house later really kills the mood!

Doing a quick tidy (or even a deep clean) before you give your partner a massage is a great way to set the stage. Even if they don’t usually complain about the state of the house, they’ll appreciate the effort that went into making things looks their best.

If you only have a few minutes to tidy up, do the following:

  • Scan the floor and pick up everything that isn’t meant to be there
  • Put all laundry in the laundry basket and close the lid (if no lid, scrunch it down as much as possible)
  • Take out the rubbish
  • Do the washing up, or at least rinse and neatly stack the dishes
  • Prepare the massage area by making the bed or neatly setting folded blankets on the sofa
  • Set the mood lighting and candles (more on those later)

Get the lighting right

You don’t realise how important lighting is until the lighting is wrong! Studies show that lighting can completely change the way any space looks and feels. For example, bright spotlights can make you feel alert and at the ready, while warm dimmed light makes you feel at ease.
If you have dimmable smart lightbulbs, you can set the lighting with the touch of an app on your phone. If you don’t have that option, try turning off the main lights in the room. Drape a sheer scarf over a lampshade for gentle, diffused light, and add more small lights to set the mood.

You can even experiment with uplighting by placing a lamp under the bed or adhering ‘puck’ lights to the underside of the bed frame or nightstand. But remember – you don’t want the room too dim (or pitch black) – you want to be able to admire your partner’s body!

Light some candles

When you envision a relaxing, sensual space, you likely picture gently flickering candles – they’re a classic for a reason! A candlelit room is soothing and special, that extra bit out of the ordinary to let them know they’re in for a treat.

Of course, candles can be a fire hazard. Do not ever leave your candles unattended, especially if you fall asleep in post-coital bliss or sheer relaxation! Ensure that each candle is kept away from textiles and accelerants, such as spirits.

Some people like to burn scented candles, which can add a lovely perfume to the room. That said, you need to think about choosing the right scent for the occasion. A ‘birthday cake’ candle might not be the mood you’re after – think of more luxurious, elegant scents, such as sandalwood, rose, or neroli.

You should also consider the massage oil you’re planning to use – if it is scented, ensure that the candle and oil fragrances don’t clash!

If you’re nervous about having an open flame in the bedroom, you can find excellent electronic options. Little battery-powered tealights ‘flicker’ just like the real things, and they don’t have any of the associated hazards.

Prep for massage area

The room is ready, the lighting is ready, and the temperature is ready – now it’s time to prep your massage area. You can start setting up all of your supplies near the bed or sofa. That way, everything is within arm’s reach, and you don’t have to break the spell to go searching for something you need.

A common tip from professional massage therapists is to keep your hands on your recipient as much as possible, limiting the amount of time they feel no hands on their skin. Try to maintain constant contact.

You can do so by keeping the following items to hand:

  • Massage oil
  • Kitchen roll
  • A damp flannel
  • Condoms or other safer sex products
  • Sex toys, such as a butt plug, vibrator, or dildo
  • Your smartphone (for playing music or soothing sounds)

Choose the right music

Silence is golden – except when you’re trying to set the mood. Playing music at a low volume can really add to the ambiance and help set the tone. If you can’t decide on a musical genre, just search for ‘spa music’ or ‘massage music’ on Spotify or YouTube.

Just remember to check your streaming service for ads – most of the free versions are filled with adverts. An ad about debt consolidation blasting out of the speakers will completely spoil the mood. It can be worth paying for the subscription so you can say goodbye to the adverts.

The genre of music is up to you – consider playing something that you know your partner likes. Some great genres for massages include Motown, RnB, orchestral rock/metal, and Gregorian chanting. Make sure your playlist is at least 45 minutes to one hour long and select the ‘repeat’ function so you aren’t confronted by silence if the playlist ends.

A slight incline might be best

Some people don’t like laying down flat on their back or stomach to receive a massage. It can be painful for people with sciatica and other nerve problems and really uncomfortable for anyone with a large chest. If your partner prefers a chair massage, it can be just as seductive!

For everyone else, try adding some wedges or pillows to have them lay down on a gentle include. This can really help people with heartburn, GERD, and chronic back pain.

Choose an oil-safe location

Massage oils make the entire experience more soothing, slippery, and sensual – but many massage oils can stain sheets, upholstery, and duvets. A huge grease stain on your favourite sheets isn’t very sexy!

With a little advanced planning, you can avoid these messy stains. Even better, you can put your partner’s mind at ease – they won’t need to worry about the possibility of a big clean-up later.

Of course, you can invest in a massage table to really take things to a professional level. However, it’s even easier to protect your existing furniture with a dedicated ‘massage’ blanket. Choose something machine washable in a dark colour so that stains don’t stand out. A dedicated throw offers a soft surface for an extra layer of comfort and tactile sensation.

If you’re worried about other fluids or liquids, you can always lay down a waterproof layer under your blanket for easy clean-up. Just make sure it doesn’t make loud ‘crinkling’ noises, which can really kill the mood.

Of course, another way to prevent an oily mess is to use your massage oil sparingly. You don’t need to use very much oil to get things nice and slippery. If you find it hard to moderate the amount you take from the bottle, consider using a solid massage bar. When warmed with your hands, massage bars glide across the skin and leave the perfect amount of oil behind. Just make sure to store them in a small container.

Don’t use massage oil as lube!

If things go well and both parties end up naked and slippery, it can be tempting to let that massage oil do double duty as a lubricant for sex. Don’t risk it! Remember – massage oils are often loaded with essential oils and scents that are not safe for your genitals.

Oil-based massage products are wonderful for massages because they make your skin feel smooth and slick. On the other hand, water-based lubes are dreadful for massages, because they dry up and lose that ‘glide’ when spread across your skin.

However, the opposite is true when it comes to vaginal intercourse. Oil-based lubes can cause thrush and other vaginal infections, not to mention damage latex condoms. Similarly, oils can damage silicone sex toys and cause them to break down. For vaginal sex and sex toy play, go for a well-rated water-based lube, which is better for the vaginal pH balance and won’t damage your toys.

So, when is it safe to use oil-based lubes? They’re great for anal sex, and they work well with glass or metal sex toys. Just make sure you opt for a dedicated oil-based lube and don’t risk using the massage oil.

Experiment with Massage Candles

If you want something truly unique, try a massage candle. While they look like regular candles, they melt down into a luxurious massage oil, warmed perfectly to the right temperature. You simply blow out the flame and drip the warm oil onto your partner’s back, shoulders, and anywhere else you want to make slippery and smooth.

Massage candles do triple duty – they give you the romantic ambience of a flickering candle, the gorgeous scent of an oil diffuser, and gently warmed massage oil.

Warm Your Massage Oil

If you’re not using a massage candle, you’ll want to think about how you plan to warm up your massage oil. Professional masseuses have specific oil warmers that bring their oils to the perfect temperature, but you can create the same effect for free at home.

Fill a short highball glass with hot tap water (ensure the glass isn’t taller than the bottle of oil). Next, make sure your massage oil bottle is closed tightly, and then place it in the glass of water. When you remove the bottle from the glass and apply the oil to your hands, you’ll find that it is soothingly warm. Place the bottle back in the glass – just make sure you don’t spill the water!

Add bondage into the mix

Ok, ok – bondage isn’t a traditional part of most massages, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some light kink into your session. This is especially effective if your partner tends to squirm or finds it hard to get lost in the moment.

For instance, binding them to the bed with soft restraints can provide the gentle discipline they need to really let go. Similarly, a blindfold can help them focus on the pleasure. Instead of thinking about what they’re going to make for dinner, they can instead focus on the sensations and prepare for what’s coming next.

Just make sure that your restraints aren’t too tight – you don’t want anything to cause discomfort during the massage.

Break out your favourite sex toys

A sensual massage can often be improved by the use of sex toys. If it seems like your session is heading in an erotic direction, you can include your favourite sex toys. This can really be a special treat, helping them unwind, turning you both on, and giving them a spectacular release.

Here are a few ideas for using sex toys during your massage:

  • Insert a well-lubricated anal plug for fullness and sensation during the massage
  • Position a vibrator so it’s held in the right place by their body weight
  • Playfully clamp or pinch their nipples during the massage
  • Use a remote-controlled vibrator for an additional element of surprise
  • Penetrate them with a dildo or other insertable

While your toys might lead to intercourse, it can also be just as satisfying to bring them to climax when they’re putty in your hands. Remember – if you’re using silicone toys, silicone and oil don’t mix! Wipe or wash the massage oil off your hands before handling your toys.

Of course, not every massage session is going to turn into sex. If you’ve already reassured them that this is purely a relaxing experience with no expectations of sex, put the sex toys on hold (unless they request them, of course).

Have fun!

The most important piece of advice for a sensual massage? Make sure you both have fun! Feel free to customise any and all of these ideas and perfectly match them to your and your partner’s desires and preferences. Change up the music, do away with the bondage, or add different sex toys – it’s all about what you prefer.

A sensual massage should be an activity you both dream about and eagerly anticipate. With any luck, they’ll return the favour next time!